There are many versions of Bolognese sauce. Some cooks swear by adding pancetta, others claim there should be no tomatoes, and Chef Heston Blumenthal even adds star anise for depth. Our version uses veal (though you could easily substitute pork), tomatoes, and some milk to give the sauce a rich, rounded note. Bolognese is often an all-day project, as some recipes call for it to cook 6 or 12 hours, but ours can be made in 90 minutes. Try using it in our Lasagne alla Bolognese.
Game plan: If you have a food processor, this is the time to pull it out. Pulse the onion, carrots, and celery together until they are all minced and uniform in size.
1Heat oil in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add onion and garlic, and cook until vegetables are translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add carrots, celery, and parsley, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
2Add ground veal and stir to break up meat. Once meat starts to color, about 8 to 10 minutes, add tomatoes and stir until well mixed and tomatoes start to simmer, about 5 minutes.
3Add tomato paste and butter, and stir until evenly mixed and butter is melted. Add salt, and season well with freshly ground black pepper.
4Add milk and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Reduce heat to low and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered until sauce is thick and reduced by a quarter, about 60 minutes.